Perhaps saying the Golden State Warriors are limping is an understatement. Hell, even taking it literally it feels that way, as Ky Bowman, who injured his ankle yesterday, couldn’t even limp out of the arena after the game. Instead, he needed a wheelchair.
So the Warriors are wheeling towards the finish line, but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
There are two finish lines that Golden State is limping towards: April 15, when the season mercilessly concludes, and March 1, when Steph Curry likely returns and shuts the door on four months of borderline unwatchable basketball.
With every passing game, Golden State seems a little more deflated; a little more aware from the opening tip that no good will come in the next few hours.
The team that showed up on Thursday to get trounced 116-86 by the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t really showed up at all. They were there in physical form, sure, but in spirit? Nah. Not even a little.
The drafted rookies - Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole - admittedly came to play. The former had a game-high 23 points on 7-14 shooting, while the latter shot 7-13 en route to 16 points and a career-high 8 assists. But other than those two? Yeesh.
Everyone else in the home yellows combined to shoot 20-53. The team’s 27 assists (nice!) were more than offset by their 26 turnovers (horrible!).
But that doesn’t come close to telling the story.
Look, I don’t fault Draymond Green for mailing this season in a little. He’s played an additional two months of basketball five straight seasons now. He’s played through countless injuries, and seemingly pushed himself harder than anyone else on the court. He’s guarded the best players in the world night in and night out, and watched his fellow teammates get more credit and money than he does.
And now he’s the only one standing on the court while Steph Curry and Klay Thompson rehab injuries, and the Warriors plummet to the bottom of the rankings. I can’t imagine it’s easy to get up for game night on a 12-47 team when you have three rings locked in the safe.
So I don’t fault him, blame him, or judge him for getting ejected after just ten minutes of (admittedly very good) action. There’s more fun to be had in the locker room than on the court. But wow was it emblematic of the game, the month, and the season for the Warriors, complete with a sidelined LeBron James having a good laugh.
Draymond Green lowkey wanted to get ejected so bad pic.twitter.com/YPj3V9DUay— Ball Realm (@TheBallRealm) February 28, 2020
The Lakers bench reacting to Draymond getting ejected pic.twitter.com/A0R9G0Oyll— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 28, 2020
Green didn’t particularly want to go to work on Thursday. I don’t blame him, but my goodness it made for a crappy product.
That was far from it.
The Warriors two players on 10-day contracts failed to capitalize on their opportunities. Dragan Bender - brought on largely because a 7-footer shooting 38.4% from deep in the G League is highly enticing - was 0-4 from deep and fouled out in 22 minutes.
Mychal Mulder - signed purely because of his exceptional stroke from distance - was 0-5 from beyond the arc in his NBA debut.
I don’t say that to criticize either player; Curry has gone 0-4 or worse 13 times in his career, including worse than 0-9 (Mulder and Bender’s combined shooting night) twice. Thompson’s shot 0-4 or worse 31 times.
Bad shooting nights happen. It doesn’t mean either player can’t shoot, it just means you were subjected to watching Golden State go 9-32 from distance, one game after going 4-28.
And of course, there was the aforementioned Bowman injury, which could keep the undrafted rookie out for a few weeks. There was a Poole ankle injury, though he was able to return. And Andrew Wiggins was a game-time scratch due to back soreness.
In all, the game was a gigantic, exaggerated, this-one-goes-to-11 fart noise.
The Warriors have flirted with being entertaining and exciting for a few brief stretches this season. Right now, those stretches are buried deep beneath the ground. They’ve lost eight in a row, with six of those games being by double digits, and three being by at least 30 points.
Curry will likely be back Sunday. And the season will be over before you have time to figure out who’s on your favorite baseball team’s roster.
The finish line is near. But the Warriors are slowly, wearily limping towards it. You can’t look away, but it sure isn’t worth watching.